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4Creative brings The Handmaid’s Tale’s dystopian world to Britain in provocative ad campaign

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Commuters in London this morning were treated to a taste of Gilead’s oppressive laws as part of a campaign by 4Creative promoting the return of drama series The Handmaid’s Tale. The front of the Metro newspaper featured a cover wrap stating “Women are not allowed to read this newspaper” while the expansive digital billboard at Waterloo station simply said: “The city is no place for a woman. A woman’s place is at home.”

Displayed with little to no explanation initially, the bold campaign has drawn inquisitive double takes from passersby, though each is followed by a “reveal” showing Elisabeth Moss’ character Offred holding a burning headdress – a signifier for fans of the show. 4Creative sought to channel the culture of Margaret Atwood’s fictional patriarchal regime, which controls the fate of women and removes their freedoms, bringing its fundamentalist ways into everyday life.

“In a world where women are quite rightly demanding equal pay, speaking out against harassment and where gender equality is such a hot topic, we wanted to sneak up on people unexpectedly and create temporary outrage with a controversial campaign to launch the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale,” says Alice Tonge, head of 4Creative.

Other digital posters around the UK display statements such as “Women have no business doing business,” and “The only job for a woman is to reproduce”. The campaign will roll out across cinemas, Kindle and social media ahead of the launch of series two this Sunday 20 May at 9pm.

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